Friday, March 12, 2010

Martin C. Monahan

Michael Higgins of the WWII Genforums was kind enough to help with research on several of the next entries.

Martin C. Monahan Jr.
Social Security Death Index
Name: Martin C. Monahan Born: 27 Mar 1915 Died: 14 Aug 1991 State (Year) SSN issued: New York (Before 1951)
Name: Martin C Jr Monahan Service Info.: CW03 US ARMY WORLD WAR II, KOREA
Birth Date: 27 Mar 1915
Death Date: 14 Aug 1991 Service Start Date: 21 Aug 1942 Interment Date: 19 Aug 1991 Cemetery: Ft. Bliss National Cemetery Cemetery Address: P.O. Box 6342 5200 Fred Wilson Street Fort Bliss, TX 77906 Buried At: Section H1 Site 1926

The last address my grandfather has listed on the reunion sheet is:
26 Koenig Lane, Freehold NJ 07728

The letter says that "Five men and their wives attended..." but doesn't say if Marty brought a wife, was married or had children. He's one of the few who did not send a bio (probably because he attended in person). Maybe this will sound familiar to someone out there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lt. Matthew J. (Jospeh) Hogan

My grandfather was very close to Lt. Hogan, and kept tabs on his friend during the war, and on Lt. Hogan's family for sometime afterward. Among other items, there are two surviving original articles in the Highland Falls scrap book. The first details Lt. Hogan's entire career and awards; the second is a transcript of his commendation upon being posthumously awarded the Silver Star.
I'll transcribe them below, and for now provide a link to my facebook where you can view a copy of the commendation article. (there is now an image here; facebook link removed)

Letter of Commendation:

* * * *

War Department
The Adjutant General's Office
Washington D.C.
April 13, 1945

Mrs. Joan M. Hogan
109-35 221 Street
Queens Village, NY

Dear Mrs. Hogan:
I have the honor to inform you that, by direction of the President, the silver star has been posthumously awarded to your husband, First Lieutenant Matthew J. Hogan, Infantry.
The citation is as follows:
"For gallantry in action in ****(location omitted) 22 and 23 November1944. After directing devastating fire on the enemy while completely exposed on open terrain, Lieutenant Hogan reorganized his platoon and fearlessly lead the assault and capture of the objective. Beating off one counter-attack, the men were immediately attacked again by a numerically superior enemy force, the assault being spearheaded by three enemy tanks. In order to gain information as to a route of withdrawal, Lieutenant Hogan exposed himself to enemy fire and was mortally wounded, but his men were able to withdrawal without loss.
His valorous leadership, fearless intrepidity, and extreme sense of devotion to duty were in keeping with the finest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States."
The decoration will be forwarded to the Commanding General, Second Service Command, Governor's Island, New York, who will select an officer to make the presentation. The officer selected will communicate with you concerning your wishes in the matter.
May I again express my deepest sympathy to you in your bereavement.
Sincerely yours,
J.A. Ulio
Major General
The Adjutant General
* * * *
General news article:
December, 1944
Joseph Hogan of Rangers War Casualty

Matthew Joseph Hogan, son of May Ryan Hogan formerly of Elizabeth N.J. and the late William F. Hogan of Highland Falls, was killed in action in Germany on November 23 according to word received from the Secretary of War by his wife, Joan Quinlan Hogan of Queens Village, L.I.
Lieutenant Hogan was 25 years old. He was graduated from Sacred Heart School, Highland Falls, and from Highland Falls High School and attended Pace Institute, New York City. He was employed by Horn & Hardart , New York City, from the time he was graduated from high school until he entered the service.
He enlisted into the Army in January of 1941, from New York. From the reception center at Fort Dix, he was assigned to the 60th Infantry, 9th Division, at Fort Bragg N.C., where he remained until he entered Officers' Candidate School in July, 1942. After receiving his commission (second lieutenant, Infantry) he was assigned to duty at Fort Brady, Saulte Ste. Marie, Mich., where he was stationed from September 1942, until September 1943. In February 1943, he became a Second Army Ranger, after completing the Ranger (Commando) Course at at Camp Forest, Tenn. He was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in June, 1943, during his stay at Fort Brady. His next regular assignment was to Camp Carson, Colo., with the 104th Timberwolf Division, which is now in Germany. During his training period, he maneuvered throughout most of the States in the union.
He left the States on Aug. 23, 1944, and arrived in France on Sept. 7, 1944, with the first of the American Army to land directly on the continent. From there he went to Belgium, Holland, and finally Germany. He was wounded in action in Holland on Oct. 26and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He was returned to duty on Oct. 28 and was wounded mortally on Nov. 23. The last letter, received by his family was written on Nov. 20th.
Lietenant Hogan was married on Thanksgiving Day, 1942, at Fort Brady Michigan, to Joan Quinlan of 109-35 221st Street, Queens Village, L.I. Their daughter, Cathy, was born on Dec. 21, 1943.
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by his mother, Mrs. William F. Hogan Sr.; three brothers, Lieut. James of the Military Police, William, and John; and four sisters, Dolores, Rita, Mrs. Patrick J. Carroll, and Mrs. David W. O'Dell Jr.
A Mass of Requiem will be offered for the happy repose of his soul on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Highland Falls.

* * * *

Sandra Eberhard, webmaster for the 104th, was kind enough to provide the following information on Lt. Hogan:
"I do have information that Lt. Hogan was with the 104th Division when they left Camp Carson to go overseas, assigned to the second platoon of Company L. Also he was killed at the time of the battles for Hills 282 and 303. He apparently had been wounded once before he was killed since he had received two purple hearts. Ironically the Lt. assigned to the third platoon was also killed in action that day." (meaning, of course, that both 2nd and 3rd platoon lost their lieutenants that day)

Many thanks to her for passing this along!!

The Cornwall Boys

Here is a list of the 16 men who left from Cornwall on the morning of Monday, March 17th 1941 (as well as another who went out separately). Several of the biographies sent in by those who couldn't attend the reunion note that it was a Monday, that it was rainy and miserable, but no one notes that it was St. Patrick's Day; guess they had other things on their mind!

Robert E. Owen
Louis P. Graziano
Martin C. Monahan Jr.
James Hogan
James Van Zetta
Fred LaVigne Jr.
Ralph E. Burke
John W. Logan
Harold W. Seibert
Gilbert G. Schoonmaker
John Favaro
Robert E. Karl
Louis A. Palella
Robert L. Rosenberg
Mac C. Thomas
Clarence W. Van Leuven

Not in this group, but joining up with my grandfather was Matthew J. (Joseph) Hogan, another Highland Falls boy.

The envelope for the reunion packet also lists a Mr. Vince Connelly of the Newburgh Evening News, who photographed the event. It looks as though this paper ceased publication in 1990, but it would be great to track down any photos that might exist.

For the sake of clarity, I'll give each man his own entry with any information I have; as more becomes available, his entry will be updated.

Names & Addresses

I'm working on getting up a bare-bones list of names and addresses for the Cornwall boys; in later posts I'll give follow-up info, any family members they mentioned, etc.
The addresses were current as of the reunion in 1971...a long time I know, but maybe someone somewhere will recognize a name or place. For the sake of being thorough, I've listed all 17 names, even if they never made it home.

Photos & Documents

I'll get the scanner working, or have them scanned professionally as soon as possible to improve the quality. For now, I'm posting pictures of the items...apologies for all the fuzziness!

Monday, March 8, 2010


The purpose of this blog (or at least the hope of the author) is to share with the world the story of the sixteen 304 Draft Board selectees who left Cornwall, NY on March 17th, 1941, and to reconnect with their families to share stories and information that may otherwise be lost.

This blog will share information, dates, names, addresses and personal anecdotes about the 16 men present that day; all of them proved to be brave and gallant heroes who's stories are worth sharing. Hopefully their legacy will gain enough notice to help bring together those of us who knew and loved them.

I ask sincerely that anyone who has the opportunity to share this blog do so; accomplishing this goal will rely heavily on exposure gained by the kindness of you, the reader.

The anniversary of the Cornwall boys' departure is just over a week away, the 69th anniversary. Here's hoping that by the 70th anniversary, those of us who remember them can commemorate their sacrifices together.

Thanks to everyone who has helped, or will help make this project a success. Through you, our American heroes live on.

Best regards,